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Community Affairs Legislation Committee
CROSS-PORTFOLIO INDIGENOUS MATTERS
Indigenous Land Corporation
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Community Affairs Legislation Committee
Scullion, Sen Nigel
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Community Affairs Legislation Committee
(Senate-Friday, 15 February 2013)
CROSS-PORTFOLIO INDIGENOUS MATTERS
Indigenous Land Corporation
Indigenous Business Australia
Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations
- Indigenous Land Corporation
- CROSS-PORTFOLIO INDIGENOUS MATTERS
Content WindowCommunity Affairs Legislation Committee - 15/02/2013 - Estimates - CROSS-PORTFOLIO INDIGENOUS MATTERS - Indigenous Land Corporation
Indigenous Land Corporation
CHAIR: Welcome back.
Mr Pratt : Chair, with your permission, I would like to table those instruments that Senator Siewert sought in the last hearing.
CHAIR: Thank you very much. The first agency is the ILC. It has been a while since we have had the ILC, so welcome back!
Senator SCULLION: My first questions will be about some of the ILC employment programs. How many people does the ILC employ, directly and through its subsidiaries, including through their group training arrangements?
Mr Gemmell : Our headcount at the end of January this year in the ILC proper—the core business of ILC—was 98. If we add together ILC and all our subsidiaries the total number for employment is 1,145.
Senator SCULLION: Thank you. Can you give me a brief update on the progress of the employment and trade training strategy at the Ayers Rock Resort?
Mr Gemmell : Yes. The employment training strategy at Ayers Rock Resort is going along quite nicely. You might recall that one of the targets for the ILC in purchasing Ayers Rock Resort was to try and get to a figure of 50 per cent Indigenous employment at the resort. The figure is, now, after a short period of time, 19 per cent Indigenous employment. There are 163 Indigenous staff, 61 trainees and 16 contractors.
We also have a significant investment in the National Indigenous Training Academy, which is training young Indigenous people for employment.
Senator SCULLION: That is the academy on site at the—
Mr Gemmell : It is on site at the Ayers Rock Resort. We have 61 trainees through there. We had our first intake in October 2011. Four have graduated but there are 61 trainees in that category now.
Senator SCULLION: Thank you. I take the opportunity to congratulate the ILC. Every time I go to stay at the Ayers Rock Resort I find that, for the first time, wherever I go there are faces of Aboriginal people. Many of the people who are staying there talk to me and say, 'This is just fantastic.' That is what they come here to do: to interact with Aboriginal people particularly. This gives them that opportunity and it also gives an opportunity for the people involved. It has been an outstandingly successful program.
Mr Gemmell : Thank you. We are hoping for more of that, as time goes on.
Senator SCULLION: Can you provide me with any details of the cost of the Ayers Rock Resort program and provide some details of the funding contributions from DEEWR received so far and agreed over the future years.
Mr Gemmell : We have received, according to my advice, $4.9 million from DEEWR in support of our Indigenous employment and training strategy. We are negotiating with them about future contributions to support the strategy.
Senator SCULLION: Perhaps I could ask you to put that on notice and once you are aware of that figure you could supply it to the committee.
Mr Gemmell : Certainly.
Senator SCULLION: The Brewarrina shearing school—another successful outcome. Is that still being supported by DEEWR?
Mr Gemmell : We call it the Merriman Shearing School near Brewarrina. We had a recent intake. We had 15 students come through; 13 successfully completed the course, 11 of whom are now in employment in shearing and associated matters. I think that is extremely successful. That program was supported with funding from DEEWR. We have an application in with DEEWR for funding to support the next intake, which we need to do quite soon. We do not yet have a response from DEEWR about—
Senator SCULLION: You do not know whether future funding for Merriman Shearing School has been approved or not.
Mr Gemmell : It is done on a project basis, so we have to make the application.
Senator SCULLION: Take that on notice in the same way as the other question.
Mr Gemmell : Certainly.
Senator SCULLION: I have some other questions in that area that I will put on notice. I will provide them at the end of the day. In December of 2012 I understand that the ILC board and senior management had a planning day of some form facilitated by a consultant.
Mr Gemmell : That is correct.
Senator SCULLION: What was that consultant's name?
Mr Gemmell : Virginia Hickey. She is from an organisation called @ the Board Table.
Senator SCULLION: How much was the consultant's fee for the day?
Mr Gemmell : The contract covers preparation for the meeting, facilitation on the day and then production of a report afterwards. The total contract cost was $5,500.
Senator SCULLION: It seems extraordinarily high. I recall the amount and, whilst notwithstanding that people have to prepare for that, as a comparison, the fee of Julian Burnside QC, when representing the Commonwealth on the James Ashby matter, was only $4,800 for the day. It was very similar—he represented him in court, he made similar preparations. It seems like a lot of money. Did you get three quotes for the facilitator, given that it was that much money for a day?
Mr Gemmell : Yes, we sought interest from four facilitators, two of which were not available.
Senator SCULLION: Not a suitable time?
Mr Gemmell : So there were two to look at and Ms Hickey's proposal was deemed the most appropriate.
Senator SCULLION: When you looked at some and they were not suitable—I understand that—so did you use the ILC Procurement Guidelines specifically to do that? You basically still got three quotes?
Mr Gemmell : Yes, we actually approached four organisations.
Senator SCULLION: They gave you a quote and all that sort of stuff?
Mr Gemmell : They responded. When they were not available at the time, that is hardly a quote. They were not available, so they could not do the job. Two of them could not do the job.
Senator SCULLION: So did you get two quotes, not three quotes?
Mr Gemmell : In effect, yes. Four organisations were approached to do the work, which is in accordance with the procurement guidelines.
Senator SCULLION: I thought the procurement guidelines actually said you have to get a price—a price had to be a fundamental part. I know there are other elements of that. You actually have to get three quotes. If I say to a painter: 'I have got three quotes.' Two painters were not available, then it is not really a quote. They are not able to take part in the procurement process. That would be my understanding.
Ms Lindsay : Our procurement guidelines say that three quotes is a guideline. It is about establishing value for money. It does not stipulate you must have three quotes. It uses the three quotes as a guideline for establishing value for money.
Senator SCULLION: Would that be the exactly the same as the Commonwealth guidelines?
Ms Lindsay : We are not bound by the Commonwealth guidelines, but our guidelines are based on the Commonwealth procurement guidelines.
Senator SCULLION: I understand the procurement processes a little better, although I am still a bit miffed why only two organisations were approached, instead of the normal process of approaching and getting a quotation or an expression of interest from three. Who authorises the payment? Whilst you seem to say that the procurement guidelines have been met, clearly, as you indicated they were not the normal sorts of processes because only two were available. Two were unavailable. Did you provide in writing to the delegate why the payment would be authorised?
Mr Gemmell : I am the authorising person for such things. To be honest, I regarded that as a fairly normal process for organisations to be approached. I actually finished up with two quotes out of that which is a fairly normal process.
Senator SCULLION: I am particularly interested in these agencies and the nature of the conflict of interest provisions when you are going through these procurement processes. Through the board, you would establish whether or not there was a conflict of interest—for example, whether there was any interest in the board and this company and whether there was a close personal relationship with somebody in this company. And if a board made a decision or you made a decision, you would ensure that those people or you indicated that there was some conflict of interest or an interest. The normal process would be that a board member would simply identify that interest and step aside.
Mr Gemmell : Where the matter goes to the board, yes, the normal process would be for the board member to declare the interest and then of course not partake in discussions.
Senator SCULLION: So whose recommendation was it to appoint this facilitator?
Mr Gemmell : It would have been my decision.
Senator SCULLION: Was there any discussion or conversations you had with any of the board members?
Mr Gemmell : Yes. It was a board management strategic planning day, and so we were all there. They can be difficult days, so it was really important that we had a high-quality facilitator to produce the results we wanted. I was wanting to ensure that whoever was appointed was accepted by board members and listened to and appropriately obeyed, if you like, by the board members. So we had to have someone who commanded respect. Yes, I certainly did talk to them, but not much—it was not a particularly big issue.
Senator SCULLION: Did you talk to any of the board members about the quality of the facilitators and do a comparative discussion about the facilitators?
Mr Gemmell : No, it was more like just telling them, 'The one we prefer is Virginia Hickey. Do you know her? What do you think?'
Senator SCULLION: Did any of the board members indicate they had a close relationship with facilitator, they are good mates or something like that?
Mr Gemmell : Not to my knowledge, but I should clarify that I did not talk to the board about this, I talked to the chair and also to one member of the board.
Senator SCULLION: Who was the member of the board you spoke to?
Mr Gemmell : Director Neil Westbury.
Senator SCULLION: So none of those conversations were around the recommendation or the selection of the facilitator.
Mr Gemmell : No, not really. That is my decision.
Senator SCULLION: Not really. I am just asking the nature of the conversation you had with Mr Westbury. Is it a good facilitator, is it a bad facilitator? Did he declare that he knew the facilitator and probably should not be talking to you about things like that? What was the nature of the conversation?
Mr Gemmell : Certainly I had no conversation where anyone told me they knew the facilitator in a personal sense. I am aware that the facilitator had done work for IBA in the past. The chair of ILC is also the chair of IBA. But that does not make it a personal connection.
Senator SCULLION: So you stand by your comment that the only conversations you have had with any of the directors was with Neil Westbury and you indicate with the chair as well, and that none of those conversations were had in a way that would recommend the facilitator that was chosen, and certainly there were no indications of a conflict of interest for Mr Westbury being identified to you in these conversations that he may have known the facilitator.
Mr Gemmell : Not to my recollection at all. I have to say, do I have very clear recollections of the conversation? No, not particularly. This was not a huge issue.
Senator SCULLION: If you have further recollections, Mr Gemmell, you can perhaps provide me with that answer at some further stage.
Mr Gemmell : I certainly will, though the chances of that are minimal given my memory.
Senator SCULLION: You never know. I have some questions in regard to your appointment. We know the history, that David Galvin no longer works for the ILC and you have taken over his position. Big shoes to fill, I have to say. I thought he was an excellent operator. The act requires that acting appointments for the CEO be no more than six months. Were you appointed as an acting CEO for six months and now you continue to act beyond that six-month period?
Mr Gemmell : Yes, I was originally appointed—
CHAIR: Mr Gemmell, can I break in for a moment. I am happy for the questions to continue and the questions that you can answer please answer. It is just unusual to be asking questions about someone's appointment to the person themselves.
Senator SCULLION: If someone else can provide answers to the questions, I am more than happy for those answers to be provided.
Mr Pratt : I would like to point out that the CEO of the ILC is appointed by the board and the cabinet handbook requires endorsement from the minister.
Mr Gemmell was appointed for a period of just under six months as CEO. He then resigned and was away for several weeks and then was reappointed.
Senator SCULLION: I understand that would be the case because the ATSI Act actually says that an acting ILC CEO can be appointed where there is a vacancy:
but the person appointed to act during a vacancy must not continue to act for more than six months.
Is that correct?
Mr Pratt : That is correct.
Senator SCULLION: I assume—and perhaps, Mr Gemmell you can assist, if Mr Pratt does not have the details—once you resigned you did the normal thing: you handed in your ILC phone, keys to the office, removed from the ILC emailing list, you did not attend any ILC work related matters and incurred no cost to the ILC during that period, since you had resigned?
Mr Gemmell : You would have expected that, perhaps, Senator, but that was not the case.
Mr Pratt : It is also worth putting on the record that the position has actually been advertised in the national press on 2 February.
Senator SCULLION: Thank you for that! Is there any explanation about why you hung onto the phone and the keys as if you were still working? Mr Gemmell, is there any explanation for that, seeing that you had resigned?
Mr Gemmell : It was because I had an expectation that a further appointment would come through, which it did. So, given I was likely to be back at the organisation, it seemed unnecessary to hand back all the things like my phone. I also attended, for example, a corporate management team meeting on the Friday—I was starting back on the Monday.
Senator SCULLION: Where was that held?
Mr Gemmell : Adelaide.
Senator SCULLION: Who flew you to Adelaide?
Mr Gemmell : ILC.
Senator SCULLION: The ILC paid for you to attend the management meeting during the period of time that you were supposed to be resigned?
Mr Gemmell : Yes. I chaired the meeting.
Senator SCULLION: Under section 192P of the ATSI Act it says that an acting ILC CEO can be appointed when there is no vacancy:
… but a person appointed to act during a vacancy must not continue so to act for more than 6 months.
I do not want to speak directly to Mr Gemmell in this matter. Perhaps Mr Pratt may be able to assist me. It would appear that he did not really resign at all and this is just an attempt to get around the very specific dictate of the ATSI Act. Can you explain why that would possibly be the case?
Mr Pratt : Ultimately these are matters for the board but, as I understand it, we have legal advice which indicates that this was not inappropriate.
Senator SCULLION: So you have received legal advice—without verballing you again, Mr Pratt—that indicates that this is consistent with the spirit of the ATSI Act? I have to say that, quite clearly, I can read this and it says that you 'must not continue to act for more than 6 months'. That is very clear.
Ms Hand : Yes, we did get legal advice because the ATSI Act does state that. The advice was very clear that, providing the person who was acting does not do so for more than a period of six months, there is absolutely nothing to preclude that person being reappointed. Obviously it is a matter for the board but my understanding from the board was that the board was very happy with the work that Mr Gemmell was doing, that there was no other suitable candidate to act and given the process for a permanent CEO was well underway, it was deemed an appropriate strategy to ensure stability in the organisation and to make sure the best person was there acting until the permanent person is appointed. And I understand that that is a matter of months.
Senator SCULLION: Ms Hand, just for the record, there is no question about the work or otherwise of Mr Gemmell. That is not a question here. What is at question is the act. If we can be provided with that legal advice it would be very useful. The act simply says—again, without verballing you—that, yes, that is quite consistent. Somebody actually resigns. My point is, perhaps, Mr Pratt, that Mr Gemmell did not really resign. He did not give his gear back, he still attended a function, they were paying for him. I hope the ILC is not in the habit of paying strangers and nonemployees to attend things and actually chair things. This is just a fabrication. This whole thing is a farce to get around the ATSI Act. That is clearly what this is. Can somebody tell me that that is not the case?
Mr Pratt : I think Ms Hand has made it quite clear that this is a strategy to ensure that there was stability and ongoing management while a permanent CEO was selected. We have legal advice that this was acceptable to do so. We are in the business of not verballing people. Without wanting to verbal Mr Gemmell, I understand he has no intention or expectation of being appointed permanently as the CEO. This is to enable continuity of management during that period. That is all. I am very pleased that you have pointed this out yourself, Senator, but Mr Gemmell is a very experienced administrator who has had substantial experience in managing organisations of this sort. Frankly, I do not think there is any scandal here. I think this is just a sensible strategy to deal with an inconvenient part of the act.
Senator SCULLION: It would have been far more sensible, with respect, if whoever decided to get rid of the previous CEO did it at a time that this could actually happen in sync with this, so he could have stayed on for another five months. It is not every day that a government agency acknowledges that they sat down and specifically found a way that they thought they could get around the ATSI Act. Personally, I do not think you have. I do not think it is clear, simply because nobody has denied and it is acknowledged that if you still maintain the property of an organisation, if you still act as part of that organisation, if that organisation still pays your fares, Mr Gemmell did not resign. Therefore he has been employed as CEO to fill a vacancy for more than six months, which the ATSI Act specifically prescribes that you must not do. I know it is for convenience of organisation and it is all those wonderful words. The only problem was that Mr Gemmell did not resign.
Mr Gemmell : In the period after my resignation until I was reappointed Ms Lindsay was appointed as the acting CEO of ILC and exercised all the authorities that went with that. Everything I did was as a guest of ILC, noting that I was in fact the acting CEO designate. I have to say that it is not unusual to fly people who are not part of the organisation into a particular meeting to provide some assistance or do whatever. The particular management meeting we had, if you recall, was on the Friday. The Monday I was back as the acting CEO, so it made an awful lot of sense for me to participate in that meeting.
Senator SCULLION: This is not a matter, with respect, Mr Gemmell, about common sense and convenience. There is an act that guides quite sensibly corporations like the ILC. In fact, it is quite specific about this. It said you shall not do something. My problem with this is simply that this is a mechanism that has been contrived to get around it. Somebody said, 'What you need to do is resign.' But through none of your actions or the actions of the board of the ILC was your resignation real in any sense that a piece of paper was put and you were reappointed. You continued to have your role not as a guest. You continued your role. As you say, it was convenience as you were starting on the Monday anyway. You attended the ILC management meeting and actually chaired the meeting. Wouldn't you say that you were still continuing in your role as the CEO?
Mr Gemmell : No, I exercised none of the powers of the acting CEO in that period, none at all. That was all done by Ms Lindsay in my absence. I had no authority. Indeed, at that particular meeting I made quite clear at the outset that I was in fact a guest, Ms Lindsay was the acting CEO, so I had no authority there. Given that on Monday everyone knew I was going to be, it proceeded quite normally.
Senator SCULLION: I would not characterise it as quite normal. I am not going to flog seriously injured horse, but I am certainly not convinced that this is not something that has been contrived to get around a piece of legislation. I understand if someone has to resign and be reappointed that that is quite okay. It is not getting around it, it is the way it is.
In those circumstances people who resign give back their phone and the keys to the office. They do all the normal things that people do when they resign. They have to step aside from the organisation completely. That is what a resignation is, and I do not think the definition is in question. There is nothing more I can do. You have indicated to me, Mr Pratt, the secretary of the organisation, that the acting chief executive of ILC says that this behaviour seems to be okay. I understand your motivation—it must be frustrating in these times—but I think it was very untidily done. And it does not send a very good message to say that if we have something that stands in the way of what we want to do—like the law—then we should have a chat about how we might get around that. I do not think you have done it particularly well, Mr Gemmell. In fact, I should not be talking to you because I think you are innocent of all of these things and this was no doubt a directive to others. You have filled and, no doubt, will continue to fill a very important role in the ILC. So I will withdraw most of those comments simply because I am looking at you, and I will look slightly to my right. Mr Pratt, all I can say is that I am very disappointed. You are clearly not going to do anything about it. You said it is quite okay.
Mr Pratt : Senator, before you direct that angst at me, I would like to point out again that this is actually a matter for the board, not for the department. The department is providing advice on this matter. We do not appoint Mr Gemmell as acting CEO; we do not have a role in that. I am just providing the advice that we have on this matter.
Senator SCULLION: Did you seek that advice subsequent to these processes taking place, or did you seek that advice before the date of resignation?
Mr Pratt : I do not know.
Ms Hand : We sought it before the date of the resignation. The minister asked as to provide advice and so did the chair of the board.
Senator SCULLION: The minister asked for advice on how she was able to get around the ATSI Act by ensuring—
Ms Hand : No, she did not.
Senator SCULLION: I am just clarifying that.
Ms Hand : She categorically did not.
Senator SCULLION: Did you have any indication about why she required that specific advice in the context that the CEO's time was up. The ATSI Act says he is not going to act for a further period, so I would have thought it was—
Ms Hand : I think it has been made very clear that there has been no law broken here and that this was a sound risk management strategy by the board, with absolutely no intention of keeping Mr Gemmell in the position permanently. In fact, for the staff of the organisation and for the operations of the ILC, the board, as I understand it, deemed it a very sensible risk management strategy, providing the advice they got said that they could do it. And clearly the legal advice that we got stated that it was able to be done.
Senator SCULLION: I am very much a layperson. It says very clearly that the person required to act during the vacancy must—must, not may—continue to act for more than six months. That is very clear. That is the basis of my question. I do not intend to debate the case; I am sure I would be crushed by your much higher intellect and knowledge of these matters. But, as a simple person, it would seem to me that that is what has been attempted. Anyway, perhaps I will pursue that in other areas.
I would like to ask some questions about the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence. Perhaps you can provide me some advice, Mr Gemmell. I understand that the NCIE is a body that is totally owned and operated by the ILC.
Mr Gemmell : That is correct.
Senator SCULLION: Can you give me the final result for the NCIE for 2011-12? I cannot see it from the accounts.
Mr Gemmell : Just to clarify, the NCIE is wholly owned by the ILC. It is set up as a charity.
Senator SCULLION: So it is like a non-profitable charity?
Mr Gemmell : I have not brought with me their financial results for 2012.
Senator SCULLION: Are you familiar with the financial documents? If not, I am not sure whether the chief operating officer would be. I know you do not have the documents with you, but I do not need the details to the last decimal point. I was just wondering whether, for example, they had an operating surplus in the charitable businesses.
Mr Gemmell : No. In rough terms, a turnover of about $4 million goes through the NCIE. We underwrite—I think that would be the best expression—any financial losses they make. We are putting something in the order of $1 million into that organisation per annum.
Senator SCULLION: So what is the annual loss—around $1 million a year?
Mr Gemmell : Yes. We are hoping for that to decline over time and for charitable contributions to come into the organisation. The plan is that, eventually, we will not continue that underwriting and they will be fully independent.
Senator SCULLION: I assume that, at the start of this, there was seed funding and eventually you will become self-sustaining through philanthropy and those sorts of processes.
Mr Gemmell : Yes. We purchased the land, which was the old Redfern Public School. We invested a significant amount of money into upgrading the facility with a gymnasium, accommodation and those sorts of things. As a charity, it is supported by us initially but the plan is that, over time, they have to develop funding sources from other areas so they can become self-sufficient. The original plan was that they would get to that position in five years. We were thinking of income from activities they perform and from charitable contributions, whether that be corporate contributions or wherever it might come from.
Senator SCULLION: Were you aware of any changes to the compensation for the NCIE board?
Mr Gemmell : Yes. The ILC board took a decision late last year to change the composition of the board. It is reviewed annually. They changed the composition of the board and some new members were appointed. It was agreed in that context that there would be remuneration available to NCIE board members. The remuneration struck was based on Remuneration Tribunal rates paid to board members. We looked at the cultural institutions as being the rough equivalent.
Senator SCULLION: What did that turn out to be per board member?
Mr Gemmell : About $14,000 per annum.
Senator SCULLION: What was your advice? Did you prepare a paper for the board? That seems extraordinary given that it is running at a $1 million loss. For a lot of charitable organisations, the norm is no remuneration. Given that the NCIE has been running at a loss, what was the rationale for the remuneration? Did you provide a paper for the board? What was the advice to the board to decide that we should spend more money on remuneration?
Mr Gemmell : The rationale relates to people having to dedicate their time to the organisation. It was quite important, we thought, to get this facility running professionally with people who were prepared and able to dedicate their time. To assist that, we felt it was appropriate to offer remuneration. It is open to all participants not to accept that remuneration. We thought we would get a more professional organisation if people were given some compensation for the time they are going to have to dedicate to it. Some of the people on the board are successful businessmen. This amount will not come very close to remunerating them for their time; it is pretty modest. We did do an analysis of what an appropriate rate was, based on the Remuneration Tribunal rates. At the end of the day, the ILC is underwriting all of that; if that increases their loss, we pay it. That is an appropriate decision for the ILC to make.
We thought that would enable better quality people to join the board and it was all round better arrangement than asking people to simply dedicate their time. If anybody does not wish to accept the money they can donate it to NCIE and it would be gratefully received.
Senator SCULLION: I understand that about 2½ years ago the NCIE CEO authorised a donation of around $12,000 from a charitable trust that is losing $1 million a year as a contribution for a statue of the great boxing champion Lionel Rose to be erected in his hometown of Warragul in Victoria. Do you have knowledge of that?
Ms Lindsay : Yes, I do.
Senator SCULLION: What authority and delegation did that CEO have to provide that donation, gift or whatever you want to call it?
Ms Lindsay : This is a matter between the CEO and his board about action that has been taken as a result of that decision. He did act outside of his authority with regard to that decision.
Senator SCULLION: I understand that the former co-chairs, Ian Ferrier and Sam Jeffries, did the right thing. They were board members and when they found out they instructed the CEO to repay the money. Has that been done yet?
Ms Lindsay : I am not aware what instruction was given to Mr Glanville.
Senator SCULLION: Has he repaid the money?
Ms Lindsay : No, he has not.
Senator SCULLION: I understand that not long after that Mr Ferrier was removed from the board and Mr Jeffries was demoted from his role as the deputy of the board. Are you aware of any submissions from or lobbying by the CEO to the ILC chair to remove Mr Ferrier and demote Mr Jeffries?
Mr Gemmell : The NCIE board appointments are reviewed annually by the ILC board—that is the normal and ongoing process as set down in the constitution of the NCIE. The decision about changing the membership of the board was taken late last year. Yes, Ian Ferrier, amongst others, was not continued and Mr Jeffries, who had been the co-chair, did continue on the board but not as co-chair. I cannot comment on any lobbying. It would surprise me if there wasn't lobbying—we are talking about Indigenous affairs, so I image there was quite a bit. But I certainly wasn't lobbied.
Senator SCULLION: The board is responsible for this subsidiary. To a lot of people $12,000 has been given away without delegation and only two board members challenged that—and you may have not have knowledge of it although I am surprised that is the case as I have knowledge of it. Of those two board members, one was removed and the other was demoted. I am not sure if you are willing to undertake to have an internal investigation about this, but I, as someone outside, would see it as smacking of corruption. Someone could see it as wrongdoing: they clearly do not have a delegation for it and the two people who complain about it get slapped. You do not have other information you can provide, but would you undertake to investigate this matter? You are obviously aware of it.
Mr Gemmell : No, I was not aware of the statue issue at all.
Senator SCULLION: Ms Lindsay was.
Mr Gemmell : I am not sure I would correlate quite as closely as you have the issue of the statue with the change in the membership of the board. We can have a look at the issue and see what we can find out.
CHAIR: Senator Scullion, you are aware this is an issue for the board.
Senator SCULLION: Yes, indeed, but if you can pass these concerns on to the chair of the board, I would appreciate it. I have not made up these concerns; these are raised by the Indigenous community and they are a reflection of their concerns about the probity of these matters. I appreciate what you said and would appreciate it if you could get back to me with that response on notice.
I would like to table a letter from Ron Morony dated 13 September. It is stated he has no objection to IBA providing to the Senate a copy—
CHAIR: I take it we are moving off ILC and to IBA.
Senator SCULLION: Yes, indeed we are. I have some other questions on notice in regard to the impact of the cancellation of Qantas flights and Ayers Rock. Thank you very much, Mr Gemmell.